We have designed a new cell surface expression plasmid to study the structural and membrane-topological require-ments for functioning of different isoforms of CD45, a leucocyte specific member of the protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) family of proteins. Use of this vector in cell transfection experiments enabled us to produce multiple CD45 isoforms (ABC, B, Null), with their extracellular segment intact, and the entire membrane spanning and intracellular C-terminal domain replaced by a GPI-membrane-anchor and VSV-tag. Our strategy facilitated the identification and analysis of chimeric proteins and selection of cell clones from low transfection efficiency exper-iments. We demonstrate here that simple expression of GPI-anchored CD45 isoforms on transfected Cos-1 cells does not facilitate binding to CD22+ lymphoid cells. This suggests that not only the mere presence of CD45 extracellular domains but also their assembly into higher order structures at the cell surface, is necessary in order to engage in the recognition and/or signalling processes normally used by B- and T-cells.